LoyalFree launch charity scheme to help tackle homelessness

Leicester startup LoyalFree have launch a new charity initiative in the city to help tackle homelessness. Sophie Hainsworth, co-founder of LoyalFree, said, “We’ve been looking for a charity partner and as a Leicester-based company we wanted to help a good cause in the city.’’

For every loyalty stamp collected around any of the 14 towns and cities currently using the app, LoyalFree will be donating 1p to charity. Users of LoyalFree don’t need to do anything differently – they can keep using the app as normal and LoyalFree will automatically give as they save!

Over time the new campaign will support various causes across the UK, starting with supporting the Give Leicester campaign to help tackle homelessness in the City. By backdating the pledge for all stamps collected so far on the app, LoyalFree has initially donated £945 to this amazing cause which will help rough sleepers in the city through the Homelessness Charter and One Roof Leicester, providing additional emergency accommodation and food during the coldest months of the year.

You can also donate to this worthy cause through the new contactless donation points set up across the city from Tuesday 29th October through the Give Leicester initiative, powered by BID Leicester and Leicester City Council. Contactless donation points have been installed in shops, cafes and venues across the city centre including McDonalds, De Montfort University, Westcotes Library and St Martin’s Coffee Shop.

Businesses running loyalty schemes through the LoyalFree app will be encouraged to promote these further with an extra incentive for customers to swap from paper loyalty cards to a digital version.

LoyalFree will continue to donate to Give Leicester until March 2020 before moving the campaign to another town or city.

Sophie added, “To those in the city and across the UK who don’t yet have the app; now is the time to download it! Not only can you benefit from great savings in the city, you can make a real difference to people’s lives too.”

To get stamping today and give as you save, download LoyalFree for Android and iOS for free by clicking here: www.loyalfree.co.uk/download or by searching for ‘LoyalFree’ on the app stores.

To find out more about the launch of the Give Leicester scheme click here: https://www.giveleicester.org/give-leicester-scheme-to-offer-contactless-donation-points-to-help-rough-sleepers/

Announcing Leicester Startup Week 2019

Our second annual Leicester Startup Week starts on Monday 18th November at venues across the city. There’s a packed calendar of events to help startups at all stages of their journeys, culminating in our annual startup weekend. Here are highlights of the events and activities:-

  • How to test your idea
  • How to scale your business
  • Free mentoring
  • Tech Nation insights into Leicester’s startup scene
  • Female Founders Club launch
  • Sports startup networking
  • Snap Travel CEO talk
  • Investor masterclass
  • Founders social
  • Leicester Startup Weekend

For full details of all the events and to book tickets, click here.

The Creative Mill Now Home Sweet Home for Deadhappy

Leicester-based life insurance startup DeadHappy have recently joined ESL Gaming, Williams Commerce and Cloudfy in relocating to the new Creative Mill centre on Mansfield Street in the city centre.

Since launching in February 2019, DeadHappy has welcomed tens of thousands of customers to create ‘deathwishes’ through its life insurance platform. These final wishes help customers express what they want to happen when they die – from paying off their mortgage to having a Viking-themed funeral.

Phil Zeidler, Co-founder of DeadHappy said: “We’re really excited about our move to the Creative Mill as it marks the opening of another chapter in the DeadHappy story. It’s a great space and we’re pleased to be sharing the building with other local tech businesses.”

Thanks to Series A funding of £4m, the business has grown from 8 people to 20 in the space of a few months, outgrowing the DMU Innovation Centre office. Phil and the team aren’t building your typical business office: “It’s been great fun planning our new space,” he says. “We’ve got the chance to create a space our team can really enjoy, with what you might call ‘unusual’ features including the shuffleboard, our indoor caravan and the War Room.”

Phil believes the move marks another example of Leicester’s growing number of tech business success stories. He said: “The essence of any great business is how it enables effective team working, and the spaces we can provide will be key in supporting our people to deliver their best work.”


Calling all Leicester Female Founders!

During Leicester Start Up week, the Female Founder’s Club is launching their first networking event in Leicester on Wednesday 20th November 2019.

The Female Founder’s club connect, support and elevate women in business in the local region. They currently offer networking opportunities and are launching workshops and masterclasses, in the new year, to provide female entrepreneurs with business and personal development support.

This evening is for people to connect with business owners in the local area, start a conversation about how the local region should be supporting female entrepreneurship and how female entrepreneurs can help elevate each other. Men are also encouraged to attended the event as to make a real impact everyone need to be involved.

Sukhveer, Director of Female Founders says, “a strong network is one of the key factors when starting out a business so, I launched these events to encourage more women to connect with each other. Female entrepreneurs are on average 5 times less likely to scale their business and we believe that by connecting we can change this narrative.”

You can connect with the Female Founder’s Club on Twitter and Instagram @_femalefounder and if you would like to hear more about the launch of their workshops and future events you can subscribe on www.femalefoundersclub.co.uk.

TEDxLeicester 2019 talks by Leicester startup founders

ICYMI, here are two local startup founders presenting at the recent TEDxLeicester Conference on 7th September 2019.

Sophie Hainsworth is the CEO & Co-Founder of multi award winning app LoyalFree.


Alex Rühl (The Drum’s 50 under 30 women in digital) is an award-winning virtual reality filmmaker and founder of CATS are not PEAS, a production studio that specialises in creating immersive experiences that impact people’s lives.

CountryDIY App Finds a Wonderful New Purpose

CountryDIY, created by Julian Wright of Linwood Apps in Leicester, lets you play a 5-piece string band with one finger. It was always meant to be a fun free app for karaoke lovers. “One of those late-night ideas” says Julian, it helped with the development of more serious apps but now it has found a wonderful new purpose – helping people with dementia.

The national campaign Music For Dementia 2020 has adopted it as one of its digital therapeutic resources. Check it out at https://mfd2020.co.uk/digitalProvider/49

“If this app goes no further it will still have been well worth building. Wonderful!”

LoyalFree Interview on BBC Radio Leicester

BBC Radio Leicester’s Rupal Rajani’s interviewed Sophie and Jason from Leicester loyalty scheme and events startup LoyalFree last week. You can stream the interview here (starts at 2h 42m 30s).

You can also listen to a previous Rupal Rajani interview from with Rajen and Suresh from ParentMonitor here.

Leicester Startups is Now a Community Interest Company

We’re pleased to announce that Leicester Startups has just taken a big step towards becoming “official”! After nearly seven years of “beg borrow or steal” we’ve now incorporated as a non-profit Community Interest Company with a mission to help local entrepreneurs. This will make it possible to organise membership at the soon-to-open Fibre coworking space as well as accepting sponsorship, running bigger and better events and promoting the Leicester startup community in a more professional way.

A big thank you to our funders and supporters at LLEP, University of Leicester, De Montfort University and Leicester City Council, without whom we wouldn’t have got this far.

If you’d like to receive future news about Leicester Startups CiC please subscribe to our newsletter via the form on our home page.

If you’d like to hear about sponsorship opportunities that could put your business in front of thousands of entrepreneurially-minded people in the region get in touch.

Building Work Progressing at Fibre Coworking Space

More progress at the forthcoming ‘Fibre’ entrepreneurs’ coworking space near DMU campus and the Royal Infirmary. The building is gearing up to accept startup tenants in the next few weeks – membership will be organised through Leicester Startups. Contact us if you’re interested in taking a space at Fibre.

ParentMonitor Save Their First Life

Parentmonitor.org is a Leicester startup created out of a personal need to help keep one of the founder’s own parents safe in their own home.

Co-founder Rajen Thanki shares his story…

What started out as something to help ourselves has developed into a system that can have a massive positive impact to many people.

Our unique home monitoring system that has the ability to detect falls and has already alerted a correct fall, for a lady who is 84, suffers from dementia, lives alone and has had multiple falls before.

Parentmonitor.org successfully alerted her daughter who lives here in the UK, her daughter was able to be alerted for the fall and contacted social services in France and a carer was there beside her mother after only 20 minutes. 25 minutes later emergency services were there to give her a check over and make sure she was ok – which luckily she was.

Had it not been for our system this lady would have remained on the floor and alone for hours until carers came back to visit her.

We know this type of thing happens all the time with many people not being able to get up after a fall and spending numerous hours and in some cases days on the floor before help is at hand.

Knowing we have the ability to help the vulnerable is a truly fulfilling feeling.

We’ve since alerted for another fall and this gives us, a small start-up all the energy and belief that we have something that can be great and motivation to continue to grow.